Hamilton College students uncover local history at archaeological dig


CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - While most students have their heads buried in their textbooks, some Hamilton College students have their hands buried in the dirt on Thursday.

"You get this really unique opportunity to hold something for the first time that may not have been held for a very long time," says Nathan Goodale, Assistant Professor at Hamilton College. "Every little item is important because it tells a part of history,"

Thursday is the first day of Hamilton College's Archeology of Hamilton's Founding Course. Students are excavating a site about 100 yards off of College Hill Road right near campus.

An unidentified semi-circular structure and a stone maker lie on the area the students will be excavating. The stone marker reads, "This tree was planted by Samuel Kirkland to mark the property line between the Whites and the Indians, surveyed in 1768".

Students say they are looking forward to seeing what else there is to uncover.

"We have no idea what we will find. I think anything would be amazing, so we will keep our fingers crossed for something interesting," says Rachel Grannis, a senior at Hamilton College.

The class will be focused on learning about the first people in the area and history of the land. Students will also be taking research trips to local historical societies and visiting the college archives.

They will also be looking for more stones like the one already on the excavation site.

"It is quite likely that there are rocks or engraved slabs that might extend to Fort Stanwix. Part of this is course is that we are going to try and find them," says Goodhue. "We will be taking GPS technology and mapping the course of what the survey line is and walking that and trying to find more engraved stones and slabs"

Whether they strike archaeological gold, or even if they don't, students say they are just excited to be digging.

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